Thatchers Biggest U Turn??? ... The Falklands

Discussion in 'History' started by scouse, Feb 18, 2011.

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  1. Was watching Question time last night on BBC. Dimbleby asked Heseltine " What was Thatchers biggest U Turn ( i thought he might say the Poll tax ) " Margaret changed her mind on many things at many times. But it would be 81/82 on the Falklands!!!! she had signed a deal on the Falklands with Galteari!!!!! But Nick Ridley and a group of right wing Conservative MPs made her change her mind " BBC - BBC One Programmes - Question Time 39 mins in for the actual Quote
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  2. Ageing_Gracefully

    Ageing_Gracefully War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yes, I saw that last night and got the feeling that Heseltine was being naughty and getting a big dig in against MT, who is not his favourite person! He was very enigmatic in that he did not say what deal, got 'confused' over the dates and had a wee smile on his face when he said it. Dimbleby tried to get a bit more out of him but he would just repeat the 'assertion' without giving any detail. JD must have been given a word in his earpiece as it quickly moved on from there.

    One for the history books after Thatcher's demise methinks.
  3. A-G,

    Yup, that was a shocker.
    It's significant that Tarzan waited until Thatcher can't defend herself before he got the 'honesty bug'.
    Or is that info due to be released soon ?

    Cynical ? Moi ?
  4. I'm with you Delrick, an "honest politician", yea, right!!

    Semper Strenuissima
  5. Some thoughts on the context:

    1. Let’s never forget, and we must give due credit to, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Sir Henry Leach who was

    <<<First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff between 1979 and 1982……and was instrumental in convincing the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that retaking the islands was possible.>>

    Henry Leach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    <<< On 31 March 1982 soon after the Argentine invasion of the Falklands, he brushed aside serious doubts from the Secretary of State for Defence Sir John Nott, and marched in to visit the Prime Minister in full uniform.

    He was asked if retaking the islands was possible, he replied

    "Yes we can recover the islands." He then added "and we must!"

    Thatcher replied "Why?"

    He replied

    "because if we don’t do that, in a few months we will be living in a different country whose word will count for little!">>>

    2. This convinced her and on the Cabinet meeting of the evening of Friday 2nd April 1982 , the day of the successful Argentinian invasion, Margaret Thatcher was given authority by the Cabinet to order the Task force to put to sea.

    At that time Michael Heseltine, as Secretary of State for the Environment, was a rather Junior member of that Cabinet. she promoted him to Secretary of State for Defence from January 1983 and their ‘differences’ only really developed later.
  6. Yes very true BOTWU, but my point was really about the revelation that Thatcher had signed a deal with Galteari.... in the first instance!!
  7. I fear we are heading that way soon enough in the current state of affairs
  8. We're already there my merseyside chum !
  9. Re- Thatcher..... I swear that creature will somehow manage to outlive the lot of us just to spite us
  10. I've had a full and active life-I do hope to live long enough to dance on her grave
  11. Plenty of scousers will be queueing up behind you to join in
  12. G-R,

    Join the queue of several million (and rising !)
  13. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    What is it about Thatcher, huh?

    Nott Review - 35% of the navy, see you later. Had this transpired and the Falkland Islands not been invaded, many estimates reckon that by 1990 the navy would be down to 12 Frigates and a handful of coastal corvettes with all strike and amphibious capability reduced to a very bare minimum and manning at around 20k with RMs.

    I'm stunned at anyone who holds her in such esteem. Finding out there are allusions to her dealing out the Falklands are no great shock. The decommisioning of HMS Endurance was enough of a clarion call. She was a hard-headed cow of the royal water and did anything but but anything in front of Britain save for 'those ***********'.

  14. Levers, only a broader view of recent history will place her early years in a proper context.

    Try looking back to the parlous state of our economy which she inherited from the previous Labour government and her concerns on the wider domestic (unions....) and the international/european plot.

    Whilst low on UK's agenda that tiresome Falklands Q had been on Argentina's for many many years (long before her time and it STILL wont go away) yet despite Nott's planned cuts she reacted positively and gripped that nettle with a resolve that few other political leaders would have shown.

    Marmite and Maggie generate similar reactions: If one is honest they are both good for you in the long run even if you didn't like the taste...... :wink:
  15. I think as times fade poeple tend to forget what brilliant leadership Maggie undertook to send a Task force 8000 miles and retake Islands which the Americans stated could not be done, It Inspired the Nation and restored National pride at a time it was needed.The surrender on June 14th will be Maggies legacy of probably being the most ascertive wartime leader since Churchill and If you compare National solidarity with regards to the Falklands and Iraq and Afghanistan ( and the Armed forces have mine and Im sure most peoples support) there is no comparison, but as our current Illustrious leader says We are all in this together ( NOT)
  16. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Absolutely not. It wasn't her leadership which drove the desire to show her just how wrong she was in rubber stamping John Nott's daft policy. It was in the hearts of every serviceman, those who went there and those who didn't and especially those who didn't come back to prove just how good we can be, even if successive governments had failed to understand developing technology and the threat of clever weapons and determined pilots. We were within an ace of losing that little conflict, no thanks to her, her predecessors and theirs too faffing about and regarding the Soviet Union as our one sole enemy. To that end when it comes to us facing down a relatively junior nation, we end up with casualties we don't need and a pyrrhic victory which cost us lives and nine billion per year to keep some mythical oil revenue alive(itself unattainable without some sort of license from Argentina anyway)

    Thatcher seemingly put some sort of 'Great' back into Britain, but people forget the industrial baby she threw out with the union bathwater and her crass rejection of society, something Cameron tries in vain to resurrect. The reason people don't give a shit any more, the reason people are so bloody minded and selfish and the reason money matters in profit over services to people is soley her fault. If that's 'leadership' you can shove it. No 'leader' carves his team into individuals who care nothing for the effort of the collective. No leader leaves behind the weakest and champions the best. And no leader ignores the wise words of his senior team members, as she was apt to do.

  17. Would like to say here here, but am uncertain to the spelling used in the lower or upper house.
    I remember having a LWE from Pompey so decided I'd visit my brother in Chesterfield, at the height of the Pit Strikes. Left the train station walked to the bus station, with pussers grip, and was shoved and pushed by members of the Met without numbers on their shoulders.
    Pushed over once and on production of ID card was escorted to the bus. Sad thing was I was only one of about ten people going to the station and all were jostled. Forget who the Prime Minister was, but I felt the stilletto.
  18. OK Levers,

    No one is likely to change your perception; the points you raised (and many similar) will be re-run, and countered, much louder and longer when she finally passes away.

    But I wonder if it's on record whether she liked Marmite or not?
  19. Perhaps Carol Thatcher will know, she seems well clued up. Anyone on this forum "been" there?
  20. Brendan,

    When comes to politicians I'm a cynic. I've met too many of them to be otherwise. I don't see too much difference between the Argentinian invasion and our response. Both were the result of a political crisis at home, and both were blessings to the respective Governments.
    Yes, I supported Thatchers response, but I'm even more suspicious about her motives today than I was then.

    She and her Cabinet pushed for 'quick results', overruling the plans of the leaders on the ground and resulting in the near disaster of Goose Green and S Georgia. Don't forget that it was one of her Inner Circle who told the press that the Paras were on their way, meaning that the enemy was waiting (reinforcements had also been sent in). Thomson wanted to ignore GG completely - it was no threat and easily contained.
    And the surrender will not be 'Maggies legacy' in my eyes. It will be the legacy of the troops and sailors who did the impossible in nightmare conditions - poorly equipped, poorly resourced, and badly supported. If the politicians had had their way, those troops wouldn't have existed (the ships didn't !), and we are seeing the same thing happening today.
    All Maggie did was to say 'Do it', and the Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Army did. Had there been no political interference, or military interference from the 'Brass', who had no idea what was going on, it would have been just as successful, and even less costly.

    We were lucky too.

    Yes, it restored National Pride, but I'm one of millions who know that the reasons behind her actions had nothing to do with the Nation, and everything to do with her political survival. The Falklands set the standard for political obfuscation, and what happened to Galtieri and the Junta would have happened to Thatcher if the Task Force had failed.

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